PRIIA Section 207

SCOTUS to AAR: No writ of certiorari

In the latest twist of an ongoing saga now in its 11th year, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has denied an Association of American Railroads (AAR) petition for a writ of certiorari* (a request that SCOTUS order a lower court to send up a case record for review) regarding whether Congress may vest a for-profit government corporation—in this case, Amtrak—with regulatory authority over its private-sector “competitors”—Amtrak’s host freight railroads. AAR has been battling with USDOT and Amtrak in court since 2011.

Implications aplenty in Supreme Court Amtrak ruling

The Supreme Court March 9 sent back to a federal appellate court for reconsideration a freight railroad challenge to a provision of the 2008 Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) that allowed the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Amtrak to collaborate in establishing minimum on-time performance standards for Amtrak passenger trains operating on freight railroad-owned track. The 9-0 unanimous decision was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy.